Currently, we have 7 English Services in SAC. Each Service in the Cathedral is led by a Service Pastor (clergy or deaconess), who is assisted by a leadership team comprising both staff and lay.
At the 4.30pm Saturday Service, Revd Freddy Lim has recently taken over from Revd Alvin Toh. It has a special focus on reaching young families. They started a post-Service tea refreshment recently, to build community and reach out to visitors. During this Ordinary Time in our church calendar (Pentecost to Advent), each Service is planning its own sermon series. This Service is focusing on the Book of Jonah.
Deaconess June Tan pastors the 7am and 5pm Sunday Services. They are currently focusing on the issue of Worship in their sermon series. 7am Service uses the Book of Common Prayer in her liturgy, and it actually starts at 6.40am with contemporary worship. At the 5pm Service, Holy Communion is celebrated alternatively with Mattins (Evensong).
Revd Peter Cook pastors the 8am and 11.15am Services. The nature of these Services are traditionally Anglican, with the Sung Eucharist at 8am. While undoubtedly seeded by past missionaries with their different churchmanship, these Services have also evolved from our own local soil. The 11.15am Service is the largest in SAC with 600+ worshippers, stretching the physical space at the Nave to her limits. This is understandable given the popular late morning slot. The post 8am Service breakfast is very important as a gathering point to connect with each other and welcome visitors. We are seeking to build up the ministry of the Word, and the wonderful choir led by Lim Chin Kai is constantly seeking to lead and inspire the congregation to worship. Our deacon, Revd Alvin Toh, also serves here and having not grown up in an Anglican Church, this attachment is important ftor his enculturation. During the next three months, the sermon series is based on the Book of Nehemiah.
Deaconess Bessie pastors the 9am Service which meets at CNS. The 9am Service is contemporary in nature. This is a strong 500+ congregation with the largest Sunday School work, understandable given the attraction of this Service to young families. They are focusing on the Book of Nehemiah during this period. Given the physical setting of CNS, providing crèche facilities for young families can be challenging and even if children worship with us, the noise they make can be easily amplified, making it more difficult for the congregation to focus on the sermon. Efforts are constantly being made to address these needs.
The 7.30pm Service is going through a transition. She will hold her last Service last Sunday of September. With Revd Timothy Chow being posted to be Vicar in Chapel of Christ the King, we have prayed and sense that it is time for change. Closing or changing something can always be difficult. We often associate starting new things as a move of God. But closing something is equally a work of God, for with every end of a former vision, it is also an opportunity for new ones to be birthed. In fact, change is a sign of growth and life. We do not want to rest on decisions made in the past but to be alive to what the Lord is doing and saying today. We are planning to encourage the regulars at this Service to join and serve in the other Services.
It is important to note that the pastors and leaders are not just focused on running Services. In fact the bulk of their weekly ministry time is spent on pastoral care, running Connect groups, visiting the sick, preparing couples for marriage and so on.
I should add that the Myanmar Service, Bahasa Service, Filipino Service and Hokkien Service are also under our pastoral care. The Myanmar Service is an important partnership ministry with the Church of the Province of Myanmar. And it is wonderfully growing. During these next few months, three clergy from Myanmar, Revd Sa Myint Htoo, Revd Brang Mai and Revd Ngwe Thein are spending their Sabbatical with us and serving in this Service. Please welcome them.
Some of you will know by now that we are looking into starting a new Service in late Sunday morning. Pastor Hambali and a very able team of staff and lay leaders are spearheading this project. We are also regularly praying, mindful of a new wind the Spirit is stirring as we seek to reach out to young urbanites. This service will be modern and has a “wineskin” that carries current language, ethos and ways to connect to people; but no less, build on our Anglican catholic heritage and Scripture. We value your prayers.
We also have two church plants: Acts Centre and Westside Anglican Church. I will share more about them on another occasion.
Strong Services, supported by active Connect Groups, will be key to the growth of SAC. And I firmly believe that a strong local church will impact the world in all sorts of ways, including reaching the world with the gospel.
We will also need strong support from our admin staff. Daily, we face a myriad of challenges and not unlike the incident in Acts 6, where “small needs” need just as much Spirit-filled attention so that “the Word may increase.” We have appointed Vivien Chen to be the Director of Adminstration and Operations in SAC. She will lead our Admin staff in this new season. We are grateful for her willingness to serve and doing so “pro bono.” Please keep her in your payers.